Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams writing in his weekly blog/column in the Andersonstown News www.leargas.blogspot.com today criticised the British government’s attack on the rights of Irish citizens in the North as enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement, adding: “Reunification is now a mainstream topic. A referendum on Irish Unity will happen.”
Gerry Adams said:
“It is increasingly clear with every day that passes, and with each report that is published, that Brexit – whether hard or soft – poses a huge threat to the two economies on this island.
“Brexit threatens thousands of jobs, our farming and agri-food industry, the human and civil rights of citizens, and the Good Friday Agreement. In addition, the British government is using this crisis to undermine the rights of Irish citizens living in the North – enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement – by trying to force British citizenship on to us. This is unacceptable. There is a huge onus on the Irish government to stand up to British jingoism and Tory partisan policies. It must defend the rights and entitlements of all citizens living in the North that are a fundamental part of the architecture of the Good Friday Agreement.
“At the weekend, thousands turned out at a series of events along the border, organised by the Border Communities Against Brexit, to protest at Brexit. They were good natured protests. But there is a clear determination on the part of the border communities not to see the clock turned back to the days of border checkpoints and disruption of community and family life.
“There is now hardly a day passes without the issue of a referendum on Irish Unity and of a United Ireland being part of the discourse around Brexit. Former President Mary McAleese made a thoughtful speech last week on this and related issues. Reunification is now a mainstream topic. A referendum on Irish Unity will happen.
“The fiasco that is Brexit, and the Tory and DUP shambles of a response to it, have together opened up a willingness for a real and meaningful conversation on Unity. It is an opportunity that must be grasped and not ignored by the Irish government. The debate is happening anyway. Dublin needs to embrace it and face the future. A united and fair future for everyone on the island of Ireland. So, let’s prepare for the referendum.”